Operational Efficiency

Recipe Costing Technology Made by Chefs, for Chefs

An easy way to ensure you are profitable is to align the cost of your recipes with your selling price.

At the end of the day running a restaurant is a numbers game. Plain and simple, but let’s be honest, not everyone is a numbers person.

I remember costing out recipes and menus in my old kitchen.

I would spend hours in the kitchen like a mad scientist in his lab, diving into math problems, the likes of which I haven’t seen since high school. I was converting ounces to quarts or asking myself “How many grams in a fluid cup?”

I was portioning, cutting, measuring and weighing the breakdown of every ingredient in my recipes, down to the grain of rice. “I would have the most comprehensive recipes ever!” I thought.

After HOURS of work, I was finally able to sit back in the glory of my achievement and look at my finalized menu.

That’s when I began to realize that the margins on some of my recipes weren’t where they once had been. With the rising prices of ingredients, some of my most popular menu items were LOSING me money. To top it all off, my distributors were sending substitutions for products I had never purchased before.

This meant that if one ingredient changed or there was a price increase, I would have to go back into my spreadsheets and constantly update product changes and prices. What a headache.

Now some restaurants are blessed to have full time staff members to manage the numbers.

But not me.

Aside from being a chef, I unwillingly also signed up to be the in-house plumber, fridge repairman, and personal therapist for the wait staff. On top of that I was also expected to be the numbers person.

The number of hats I was wearing aside from running the kitchen was growing, and all the moving parts involved in costing out my menu were completely out of my control. So unfortunately, like many chefs, recipe costing got put on the back burner.

The Problem

The problem with recipe costing is that there are so many variables constantly changing.

Ingredient prices are skyrocketing, vendors are substituting ingredients you typically buy due to product shortages, and on a busy Friday night you run out to the local store to pick up supplies.

The price you paid for ground beef pre-pandemic is nowhere close to what you are paying today, meaning your margins have shrunk immensely on your burger.

Unless you are inspecting every invoice that comes through your door with a magnifying glass and noting ingredient price trends, you have no idea what menu items are costing you today.

This is bad. Every day that you are unaware of your profit margins is a day that you could potentially be bleeding money!

The Solution

Hopefully by now you get the gist of this post. Recipe Costing is SO important but also extremely difficult to maintain.

Orderly was developed for chefs, by chefs, to be the easiest and most reliable food costing tool on the market. The less time you spend in our software the more time you have to do what you truly love!

Simply build your recipes in Orderly once.  One time.

That’s it.

With every invoice that comes into the system, Orderly will automatically update the ingredient price showing you the true cost of the recipe today and the current margins based off your selling price!

This allows you to make many updates and revisions as a problem arises.

Buying a new ingredient or your vendor sent a substitution? No problem!

Orderly groups together substitute ingredients with the products you typically buy.

This means that regardless of whether you bought Hormel Apple Wood Smoked Bacon last week or Oscar Myer Apple Wood Smoked Bacon this week, Orderly will group these like items together and use them interchangeably in your recipes depending on which item you bought most recently, giving you the most up today price for every menu item you build in Orderly!

Recipe costing is something that NEEDS to be done to ensure you are running a profitable business.

FINALLY, a recipe costing solution resilient to substitutions and supplier changes. 

Say goodbye to daily recipe maintenance!

Ready to put your recipe costing on autopilot and receive up-to-date food cost insights?

Reach out today and our team will be happy to discuss how Orderly can help!

OrderlyRecipe Costing Technology Made by Chefs, for Chefs
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How to Calculate Your Restaurant Inventory Par Levels

Your restaurant’s inventory par levels and food costs go hand in hand.

It’s one of the hardest things to juggle… Having enough inventory to meet demand each week, but also keeping it low, as to avoid stockpiling or food waste.

We mentioned this in our last article, but keeping track of inventory (and your par levels) is essential to the success of your restaurant.

Lower inventory levels help:

Ben BaggettHow to Calculate Your Restaurant Inventory Par Levels
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What is Food Cost Variance and How Do You Control it?

How often do you check the prices of your ingredients?

Every delivery? Once a week? Once a month? You’re expecting your food cost to be around a very specific number. Your supplier didn’t mention any major changes in price, so why should you have to worry? You’re getting a good deal after all, right?

But prices are seasonal, and will often change. Small increments here and there. Sometimes they may go unnoticed. Sometimes you may catch them.

In an ideal world, your food cost would be exactly what you expect every single time. But unfortunately, that’s not how the supplier industry works.

So what is food cost variance and how can you keep it under control? Below we’ve outlined what food cost variance (as called cost variance) is and a few ways you can keep it under control.

Ben BaggettWhat is Food Cost Variance and How Do You Control it?
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Restaurant Food Waste: The Silent Killer

You’re busy.

Well, ever since you opened your restaurant, you’re never not busy.

You’re being pulled in a million different directions at all times. You’re covering for a waiter who skipped his shift. A customer is causing a scene. A fight just broke out in the kitchen.

With all that going on, you just haven’t had the time – or energy – to focus on reducing your restaurant’s food waste.

You’re not keeping track of your orders. Instead, you’re just placing the same ones over and over. Who has time to analyze all that stuff?

Well, when you don’t analyze that “stuff”, you’re throwing out hundreds of dollars a week in wasted food.

And you have nothing in place to help with your restaurant food waste management.

But, you can reduce food waste in your restaurant in a ton of ways, including inventory management, smarter ordering decisions, and more.

Stop letting restaurant food waste kill your profits.

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Danny BarryRestaurant Food Waste: The Silent Killer
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Infographic: 5 Processes to Shred Your Food Costs

According to the National Restaurant Association, the restaurant industry netted almost $800 billion in sales in 2017.

So.. why are you still struggling to turn a profit?

It’s probably because you’re not taking care of your food costs.

Make a change and save your restaurant.

Here are a few places to start:

Danny BarryInfographic: 5 Processes to Shred Your Food Costs
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The Restaurant Expansion Checklist

So you’re thinking about opening a second restaurant.

You feel ready for expansion. Sales are good. Profits seem up. And you’re ready to show a whole new market what your food can do.

But there are some big questions you need to ask yourself before you get started.

Danny BarryThe Restaurant Expansion Checklist
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